Derek Hanekom to sue Jacob Zuma: Here's what you need to know

Former minister in Jacob Zuma's government and ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom will go to court this month to sue Zuma for R500,000 after he tweeted that Hanekom was a "known enemy agent". File photo.
Former minister in Jacob Zuma's government and ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom will go to court this month to sue Zuma for R500,000 after he tweeted that Hanekom was a "known enemy agent". File photo.
Image: Gallo images

Former minister and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Derek Hanekom has confirmed he will take legal action against former president Jacob Zuma and sue him for R500,000, following a tweet in which Zuma claimed Hanekom was a spy.

Here is what you need to know:

Spy claims

On July 25, Zuma took to Twitter, alleging that the former minster in his cabinet was a "known enemy agent".

This comes after Hanekom's admission that he had spoken to members of opposition parties in parliament ahead of a no-confidence vote in Zuma in February 2018.

Zuma's tweet was a reaction to claims made by the EFF leader Julius Malema outside the high court in Pretoria after a hearing in the matter between public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on July 23.

Malema's claims

Malema claimed Hanekom and SACP deputy secretary-general Solly Mapaila had participated in a plot to remove Zuma.

He alleged that Hanekom met EFF members last year to discuss Zuma's removal by way of a vote of no confidence. Malema said Hanekom allegedly planned to break away from the ANC, alongside others, if attempts to remove Zuma failed.

'Something out of nothing'

Hanekom confirmed Malema's claims of meeting with the EFF but denied conspiring to remove Zuma.

"People of different parties have coffee with each other all at time. He is making something big out of nothing," he said.

Suing for defamation

According to a Business Day report, Hanekom is suing Zuma for R500,000 for defamation in a case set for court on August 21.

Hanekom said Zuma's claim had caused "immense harm and damage" to his reputation, harm that would continue as long as "this statement remained published without censure".

He also, reportedly, said that Zuma's tweet insinuated that he was part of a plan hatched by the apartheid government.

Hanekom further wants the court to order Zuma to delete the tweet and then to "unconditionally withdraw his spy claim, acknowledge that it was entirely false" and apologise.


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